The life and death of Iris Canada, the 100-year-old victim of eviction

Evictions can be a death sentence and there’s no mercy -- not even if you’re a 100 years old.

Iris Canada, 100, sat in a wheelchair looking frail and tired but not without the touch of her impeccable sense of style; yellow blazer, a sleek ebony wig paired with silver earrings. As she sat in front of banners protesting her impending eviction, Canada smiled and spoke gently as she occasionally broke into prayer for her former landlord Peter Owens.

Iris Canada left Texas to find a better life in California with her husband. Photo credit Housing Rights Committee.
Iris Canada left Texas to find a better life in California with her husband. Photo credit Housing Rights Committee.

I was born in 1916, the same year the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote. When I was 13 the stock market crashed. At 25 I cried with my country when Pearl Harbor was bombed and I celebrated with my country when the war ended. I was 38 when Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in American schools,” Canada said, “When I was 74 and had been collecting Social Security for 10 years, the US was fighting the Gulf War. I was so proud that I voted to elect our first African-American president after my 92nd birthday.”

Despite successfully delaying her eviction a dozen times, she knew she wouldn’t be able to survive the loss of her home. Canada was a strong, determined woman who took pride in the life she had built and sought to fight to stay till her dying breath.

“This is killing me. This home is all I have, this is where I want to live and this is where I want to stay,” she said. The two-bedroom Western Addition residence had been Canada’s home since the 1950s (accounts vary). Canada, who worked as a beautician and a nurse, moved to California from Texas in the 1940s with her husband.  

“My husband built the furniture in this home. This place is full of his artwork and furniture we bought together,” said Canada.

It’s no secret that the cost of living in San Francisco is insanely high. By several metrics, the city has the priciest real-estate in the country, highest rent and worst income inequality in the state making it among the ten least affordable cities in the world. These trends have been forcing low-income residents to leave, and it’s the stories of longtime residents of color that most boldly narrate the story of the city by the Bay that has rapidly gentrified.

Canada’s story struck a chord with housing activists who have witnessed similar instances of seniors being evicted. Tommi Avicolli Mecca, a staffer with the Housing Rights Committee, has spent the past two years fighting tooth and nail for Canada to stay. He’s been at every protest, every court hearing, and every eviction scare that Canada was put through before she was ultimately evicted last month.

“This is a city of artists, of writers, or thinkers, this is a city of the working class that was known for its acceptance and compassion but just look at how we treat our elderly. Is this the San Francisco you want?,” Mecca spoke to an audience gathered outside the Courthouse. The crowd chanted back a unanimous “No,” Mecca maneuvered in and out of the courthouse all the while fielding calls to get updates on Canada’s deteriorating health.  “I have seen this before, we have all seen this before. She will not survive this it is killing her,” said Mecca before disappearing to the courthouse again.

The owners of the unit — Carolyn Radisch, her husband Peter Owens, and his brother Stephen Owens who bought the property in 2002 — have a different story to tell. They claim they tried their best for over a decade to accommodate Canada.

At the time the Owens family bought the building they issued Ellis Act eviction notices to all the residents as they planned to turn the building into Tenancy in Common units.

Canada was given a so-called “life estate” designed to let her remain in the apartment for a fixed rental agreement of $700 a month until she died.  The non-traditional agreement that was carved out after Canada’s then-attorney convinced Owens that it would be hard – and cruel – to force an elderly Canada out.

In 2015, Owens asked Canada to sign a document that would allow him to convert the building to condominiums. Canada refused to sign the application after talking to her lawyers who advised that she would, in essence, be giving up her “life estate.”

Owens alleges that Canada was no longer living in her apartment, and in court the lawyers presented evidence alleging that the apartment was in bad shape and had been abandoned as Canada was living in Oakland with her caretaker niece, Iris Merriouns. The Owens family argued through their lawyers that since Canada “permanently resided” with her niece she violated the so-called life estate agreement hence demanding she should be evicted.

This map shows all of the no-fault evictions that took place within a few blocks of a tech-shuttle stop. Screen grab courtesy: Anti-eviction map
This map shows all of the no-fault evictions that took place within a few blocks of a tech-shuttle stop. Screen grab courtesy: Anti-eviction map

Canada’s niece Iris Merriouns has consistently disputed these claims: “It’s ridiculous. Peter has taken advantage of the fact that my Aunt has been sick and has had to deal with family tragedy,” she said. Merriouns cited Canada’s health, travel to stay with family and a dying niece as reasons for Canada’s absence from the apartment for long periods of time.

The two-bedroom apartment was full of Canada’s belongings. Mark Chenerv, Owens family lawyers, alleges Canada hadn’t lived in the apartment for over two years. Instead, he blamed Merriouns as exploiting her aunt’s health and old age “for her own greed… what you see here is the exploitation of Ms. Canada by her family. My client Mr. Owens has been more than helpful to Ms. Canada. From making sure her food from meals on wheels is delivered to her to ensuring that she’s comfortable. We’ve done everything we can,” Chernev told 48hills after yet another court hearing in August of last year.

In a heated argument between Chernev and Canada’s attorney Dennis Zaragoza in the corridors of the courtroom in August, Chernev went on to allege that the Owens family were ready to accommodate all demands: “My client has told you he’s ready to give you anything in writing, anything you want you can have it all he wants is for your client to sign the conversion papers. Instead, her niece (Merriouns) wants to buy the condo at a discount price. Tell me how a 100-year old woman on social welfare is going to buy the apartment?” he said.

Chernev told this reporter that his client was willing to let Canada stay for the rest of her life if she signed the condo conversion papers — a claim Canada’s lawyer Zaragoza and niece Merriouns refused to believe. “Signing off the conversion papers means she would lose her right to stay. What is to stop them from using another excuse to try and evict her afterwards,” Zaragova said.

Canada wasn’t present at the court hearing, neither was she seen at subsequent protests, as she battled her worsening health. Those who knew Canada or heard her speak pleaded she be allowed to stay until she had passed and considered her a living history of San Francisco. Whenever she made an appearance Canada spoke about the changing neighborhoods, the Fillmore district not far from where she lived was once called the “Harlem of the West” has become unaffordable to many African-American families that once inhabited it.

When Canada first moved she was surrounded by a large bloc of extended family members. The neighborhood now known as Hayes Valley was once a harbor for African-American families looking for a decent life. Canada’s building was owned by James Stevenson, an African-American man, who owned five buildings in the neighborhood. This has all changed and Canada’s family is not the only one that has suffered. San Francisco’s African American population has dwindled to less than 6% from over 13% in 1970.

By April of last year, a judge ordered that Canada could stay in her home if she paid her opponent’s legal fees; $160,000. Canada was given two options if she wanted to stay in the home filled with the furniture her late husband made: pay the legal fees or sign documents that would pave the way for a condo conversion. She did not have the means to pay the legal fees and so continued to delay the eviction until her locks were finally changed by Sheriff Vicki Hennessy last month. 

The Owens’ say the legal battle has hurt them too. Owen’s had to resign from his job as housing director in Burlington, Vermont after Canada’s story caused a backlash. He swears he willingly gave Canada the life estate: “Do you also remember the first time we met in your living room in the summer of 2002? You were in tears at the prospect being evicted. I re-assured you we’d figure out how you could stay in your home. I made good on that promise (though some suggested I was foolish to do so). All I am asking is for you to show me the same respect in return,” Peter wrote to Canada, demanding she sign the application for condominium conversion.

Sometime before Canada passed away she looked into a camera and left a message for Owens: “Peter, I can’t believe you did me like this,” she said.

People on both sides of the case have hurled accusations of greed and exploitation of the elderly. It’s true that Canada wouldn’t have been able to buy her home, that she may not have had the means to stay in her residence long term, that perhaps in her ill health many other people spoke on her behalf as they portrayed to have her best interests at heart. But no matter who is accused of greed — the landlord who fought an ugly legal battle for over two years or the niece who spoke on behalf of her aunt and juggled allegations of exploiting her condition — the fact remains a 100-year old woman died last week mourning the loss of her home in a city she called home for half a century.

For many, Canada’s struggle to keep her home narrated a story of a city that appears to be betraying its life-long residents, it became a rallying cry for the soul of the city and a battleground for people of color to keep their homes and remain in this city. Canada’s death is a cruel reminder that evictions can be a death sentence and there’s no mercy not even if you’re a 100 years old.

With additional reporting from Tony Robles 

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  • Don Sebastopol

    The Black population in SF was 0.8% in 1940 and 5.6% in 1950. The decline since 1970 is a national trend, part of the “second great migration.” In many formerly mostly White cities in the Bay Area, the Black population has steadily increased since 1970 after the housing discrimination laws passed. The Black middle-class left the City for the same reason the White middle-class did.

  • SnapsMcKenzie

    Sounds like Iris Merriouns saw a chance to get herself an apartment on the cheap in an expensive San Francisco neighborhood. And as a result – her great aunt lost her home. The real villain here is not the court nor the owners, who appear to have bent over backward to give this woman security – but rather the niece. Who from her duplicitous behavior as a staffer on the Oakland City Council, seems to have a talent for attempting this kind of chicanery.

    • Le Marquise de Sade

      Not knowing the entire story and not having lived in SFO for about 5-years now, I can still see I think your point has merit. It’s usually some greedy family member that screws things up. However, the lady was so old I doubt she would be able to think it out on her own.

      • 4th Gen SF

        SFO? You live at the airport?

        • Le Marquise de Sade

          Of course, under the escalator at international departures. Of course not! SFO (San Francisco) not necessarily the airport.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Cheap rent under the escalator! Nice!

  • Don Sebastopol

    I looked at that no-fault eviction map. There were 14,728 Ellis and owner move-in evictions between 1994 and 2016. That is 670 per year or 0.3% of all rental units. That is hardly a significant number. In my single-family neighborhood, the evictions were single family homes where 84% of the homes are owner occupied. They were owner move-in. Also, the evictions near bus stops don’t really show a pattern.

    • Y.

      Caracas, Venezuela has the world’s highest murder rate for any city, 120 homicides per year per 100,000 population, or 0.12%/yr. 99.88% of the population is left unmurdered every year. All is well, then, right?

      • Don Sebastopol

        Hardly comparable. The website gives false impression that evictions are a large number and that thousands are being displaced. Most of what we see is replace not displace. Too bad there are not more Ellis and owner move-in evictions. The good thing about them is that they create more owner occupied units that improve the neighborhood and quality of life City.

        • Y.

          If we composted those evicted and used them as fertilizer in public parks, that would benefit the city at large, too.

        • Watson Ladd

          You know what creates more owner-occupied units? Developers. But you don’t like that. Face it: you want SF to be a playground for the rich and ancient.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Wrong. We don’t want SF to be wall to wall concrete.

          • Watson Ladd

            And the result of your policy is that SF is becoming a playground for the rich. But why can’t the Outer Richmond and Pacific Heights and West Portal look like the Mission does now?

          • 4th Gen SF

            Every neighborhood has it’s own historic character, but there’s always been a similarity of building structures to most neighborhood areas of SF.

          • Don Sebastopol

            How is it becoming a playground for the rich? What does that mean? One nice thing about San Francisco is its diversity, it is not homogenized and cookie cutter. That’s why West Portal should not look like the Mission. SF can accommodate many lifestyle choices. There are many in the West of Twin Peaks area who are transplants from the Mission. They grew up and had children.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Having grown up in a White affluent low density suburb in New Jersey I would think you could appreciate the benefits of that lifestyle. Do you now live in the Mission? If so, enjoy it while you are young.

          • 4th Gen SF

            He doesn’t even live in SF. He lives in Berkeley I think? He’s just another carpetbagging UCB student who will leave once he graduates.

          • Don Sebastopol

            It is young talented people like Watson that created the “problem.” They move here from the east coast and attract employers with high-paying jobs. In effect Watson is the gentry. However, I personally welcome them.

          • Watson Ladd

            I’ll probably stay contributing to the coffers of the state of CA and the prop 13 grannie landlords. But the high prices hurt 5th generation SF residents just as much as people who move to work and contribute to society.

          • Don Sebastopol

            The people who moved here to work and contribute to society is the cause of the high prices.

          • Watson Ladd

            What is the cause when a rock and a hard place hit? The choice not to build housing to accommodate new residents for 40 years also contributes as much as the new residents do.

          • 4th Gen SF

            What are you talking about? SF is in the midst of a building BOOM right now.

          • Watson Ladd

            When was the last year SF met its housing element goals in all income categories? Just because there is new construction doesn’t mean there is enough new construction to accommodate newcomers. The starts to population ratio is below national norms.

          • 4th Gen SF

            There will never be enough. Period.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Most of my childhood friends and all my relatives (who did not die here) moved out of the City. They got more for their money, better house, more space, better weather, less crime, better schools, by leaving. It generally meant a higher standard of living: They were not hurt. A couple even moved to Berkeley. They sold their single family SF home in one case, or their duplex TIC unit in SF in another case, for a very nice larger homes on the Northside. Much nicer an larger than my single family home in the City for about the same price or less.

          • 4th Gen SF

            You’ll only be able to stay if your wealthy fam keeps sending you the $ to stay. If you work for a non-profit you won’t be able to afford it. You’ll have to HUSTLE to get work, and the uni pays v low wages until you’re a full prof and you might never get there.

          • Watson Ladd

            Actually, I’ve been able to make things work without any help, and can easily find a job that will pay enough. What about all the workers who don’t earn ridiculous amounts? Oh wait, you don’t give a damn about them.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Actually you don’t care about the middle classes still living in SF & the SFBA who are barely holding on. You want their taxes to rise. You want higher density. None of us want that.

          • 4th Gen SF

            So you’re working right now & not living off your parents $? How many roommates do you have?

          • Watson Ladd

            My “affluent low-density suburb” has several apartment buildings that are more affordable, and is located about 30 miles away from the largest city in the world, with a functioning transit system. What you demand is akin to making Washington Heights a suburb. There are lots of places in New Jersey and New York that are high density and affordable such as Hoboken. But why don’t we cut a deal: Marin can be as suburban as you want, if I get to make SF a real city.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Why not move back to Hoboken? It’s got everything you want. Bye.

          • Watson Ladd

            It doesn’t have Tahoe, Marin highlands, the density of employers in my area, good climate: the things you like about SF.

          • 4th Gen SF

            NYC has the “density” you’re looking for. We’re not interested in your density ideas.

          • 4th Gen SF

            PS, “you” wont get to do anything here. Yeah I think you THINK you can but…nope. Every year there’s a new bigmouth liberal rich person who thinks THEY are going to make a difference here. None of you do. We’re bored with your big mouths. You will NEVER change SF.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Most east coast liberals I know, including my wife, moved here to get away and for a nicer environment. But I guess there are some who want to change it. I wonder why they came in the first place.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Your White affluent very low density owner occupied neighborhood in NJ is 100% single family with strong zoning regulations to keep it that way. I doubt your neighbors would like to increase density to make it more affordable.

            NYC and SF are not comparable in terms of scale. It is more akin to downtown being Manhattan and the Sunset the Queens. There are lots of places in SF that are high density and affordable such as the Tenderloin. People moved from NY to SF for the lifestyle and to get away.

          • Watson Ladd

            That’s true of my childhood neighborhood, but not true of the town I grew up in which has a substantial mixed-used apartment building stock and several apartment buildings near transit. The Mayor has been expanding those opportunities.

            What do you mean by lifestyle? If you mean keeping out poor rifraff, Marin is thataway, and I’d love to see your racist, exclusionary face go there. SF is geographically tiny, and thinks it can be a small town in one of the fastest growing employment centers. And I live in Berkeley now: my neighbors are here, paying 50% of their income in rent.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Racist? When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser. My single-family neighborhood is less than 50% White non-Hispanic. Where you grew up is 86% White. Are your parent’s racists? I doubt your childhood neighborhood residents would agree to increasing its density. Are they being exclusionary keeping out the poor riffraff?

            SF is developing mixed-use apartment buildings and creating higher density in the eastern part of the City. That is fine with me and I support it. Providing housing for the young talent moving to SF takes pressure off my neighborhood.

            Lifestyle includes the physical and social environment. We in the Bay Area have better weather and easier access to a variety of recreation opportunities. You mentioned the weather, Tahoe and Marin Headlands. But it also includes neighborhoods friendly for families with children, like where you grew up. Stable multi-generation neighborhoods with children makes for a better lifestyle. Higher density areas have fewer children.

            SF is not the employment center. Over 80% of the jobs in the Bay Area are not in SF and over 40% of those who live in SF leave the City for work.

          • Watson Ladd

            Your single family neighborhood has zoning policies created to make it unaffordable to blacks in the 1960s. So sadly did the town I grew up in. Actually I lived a few blocks from a blue collar community, and large areas of town are zoned for higher density and the mayor wants more transit oriented development to attract lower-income families.
            SF job to worker ratio is greater than 1. As for child-friendly, life in New Jersey meant being dependent on parents for transportation. That’s not nearly as child-friendly as a city with public transit, and paying millions for a home doesn’t put one stitch of clothing on or a single book in the hands of children.
            As for multigenerational, that is only possible if younger generations can afford to move in.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Zoning policies are from the 1920’s not the 1960’s. Upper middle-class Blacks and Hispanics are moving into my West of Twin Peaks area; including Hispanics from the Mission. Their numbers and percent are increasing. Young people with school-age children have also increased in numbers recently, replacing older folks who were carried out.

            It is true that most young people who move to my neighborhood are at least in their 30’s; it takes time for one’s career to advance and to save for a down payment. And they are not motivated to leave their high density lifestyle until their children are ready for school or they have a second child.

            I tend to agree that the City has come advantages for children compared to the suburbs. I was taking transit by myself starting around 9 years old. But when I turned 16 I had a car so I could leave the City for places like the River or Tahoe. I also drove everywhere in the City but parking was okay back then.

            You may not be able to afford much here now but probably will in the future. Most homeowners in Hillsborough or Atherton could not afford to buy anything in the City when they were your age.

          • 4th Gen SF

            And that’s just it, you’re advocating for “everyone else” while YOU grew up wealthy in place with a yard. Please, just stop.

          • 4th Gen SF

            You’re calling the esteemed Tim Redmond, one of the people who wanted prop M, owner of this news blog, & a person who doesn’t want wall to wall concrete in SF nor over-density, racist?

            You really have run out of arguments when you start using epithets like “racist”. I thought you were smarter but no, there you go calling people racist.

            Shameful.

          • Watson Ladd

            They are racist. The people most hurt by high rent are poor and black. The people who benefit rich and white.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Priscilla Chan is white? Really?

          • 4th Gen SF

            Also since you hate whites, how do you feel about yourself being white? Hatred? So, is committing the end a solution to your whiteness?

          • 4th Gen SF

            One has always paid 50% of their income to live in the SFBA. Nothing has changed.

          • Watson Ladd

            So how did all those hippies move in and afford it? See, someone who gets a magic Prop 13 house pays nothing. Their neighbor who buys years later or rents pays far more. Stop lying.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Lots of roommates. IDK I was rather too little, but I think it was roommates & that the neighborhood/s in question were kind of getting rundown aka the Haight for instance. There was once a lot of black people in the Haight and the hippies came & gentrified them out….

          • 4th Gen SF

            But you, are you self-supporting or is it daddy’s $? Serious question.

          • 4th Gen SF

            But you grew up in a single family home with a yard. Which is what most ppl in the USA want.

          • Watson Ladd

            And if they want it they can buy it. Why can’t people who want multifamily housing near transit buy it? Why does the state need to restrict multifamily housing if no one wants it?

          • 4th Gen SF

            They can do that right now.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Ok, but here’s the thing, “poor black people” as you were just telling me in the other post, could not buy your expensive family home. So then what? Rich black people can.

          • 4th Gen SF

            You haven’t been here long, Don is not against developers. But no one wants SF as a concrete jungle which is what you’re advocating.

          • Watson Ladd

            Don regularly insists that SF not build to meet housing needs. The result is high prices. I can’t believe you think Paris is a concrete jungle.

          • 4th Gen SF

            You can’t compare Paris to SF. LOL. Please. You sound foolish.

          • Watson Ladd

            Unaffordable detached single family homes vs. six story apartment buildings. I really should just compare it to Marin: unaffordable, unwalkable, and priding itself on being liberal while being far less friendly to newcomers then conservative areas.

          • 4th Gen SF

            Move to where you can afford.

          • Don Sebastopol

            Unfortunately, The number of rentals added in the past 5 years far outnumber the owner occupied units added, and far outnumber the minuscule number of Ellis and Owner move-in conversions from rentals to owner occupied. One benefit of Ellis was to make ownership more affordable for the young. Playground for the rich? What does that mean?

          • Watson Ladd

            Why is giving people a more affordable way to enjoy what you enjoy bad? As rents rise, only the rich remain.

          • Don Sebastopol

            There is no evidence that increasing the density will make my neighborhood any more affordable. And if the density were to be increased no one would have what I enjoy now.

  • abolish

    The heart of the matter is Canada’s lawyer claims “Signing off the conversion papers means she would lose her right to stay,” while Owens’s lawyer says “My client [is] ready to give you anything in writing, anything you want you can have it all he wants is for your client to sign the conversion papers.”

    Can Canada’s lawyer be believed? Surely Owens could write a new lifetime lease for the condo. If Canada had requested it and been denied, then that would reveal Owens as dishonest. But if they never requested it, that would suggest that Canada’s team was dishonestly withholding her signature for other reasons.

  • curiousKulak

    So I was thinking … Owens brought suit in … 2012? to have her terminated for violating the Lease. When was it that they became eligible to condo convert? Was the lease-breaking an end-run around getting her signature? Or was the con-con not then an issue (in which case they’d like to move on from someone hoarding an apt they no longer used)?

    And the article said she fought eviction 12 times. I’d like to know the timeline for those.

    Canada died, due to old age. The stress of a lengthy legal battle didn’t help matters any. It seems she could have easily sidestepped that by signing the papers. I think she got bad legal advice, when they suggested she’d “lose her lifetime estate” if she signed. As someone said, she could dictate terms for her sigature; but she did not.

    Sad, sad, sad.

  • MNJAM

    This is all very sad, but if you look at it from Iris’s perspective she might have had enough of this life. With a niece trying to take advantage of her and a landlord trying to extort and evict her she probably figured she was better off dead. Death can be a relief if it ends suffering and misery.

  • Bill Harkins

    In addition to the tragedy Iris had to spend her final years involved in this sort of nonsense is that the author of the article, a seemingly intelligent and educated individual, is not even slightly grasping that the pro tenant activist’s she views as heroes created this whole mess by their continued inexplicable inability to understand the laws of supply and demand. Let me explain, the original owner of this building that rented to Iris was likely proud and happy to be a landlord, Iris happy to move in and all was well. Then SF activist’s started demonizing landlords, politicians jumped on the bandwagon for some votes and the building owner soon not wanting to be publicly shamed and/or was squeezed out of business by regulations and lawsuits the politicians made up sold the building. Since no buyers want to be landlords under this progressive politicians agenda of hate it was sold to condo developers and everyone that used to rent in the building lost their apartment. When they went to find a new place it was triple the price and the landlord was simply in it for the money because anti landlord propaganda and progressive politics scared all the nice landlords into leaving the rental business. Building after building has or will soon follow the same course, rent control apartments one by one will become condo’s, rents will go higher and higher, lawyers will get rich and SF will only be affordable to folks with $300,000 cash for a down payment. Nothing is going to change this unless progressives admit their entire plan failed, failed Iris, failed San Francisco, failed everyone. Demonizing landlords lowers the supply and the lower the supply the higher the demand, the higher the demand the higher the price – It’s not that complicated folks. Unfortunately Sana will not be admitting this, she will continue to pop out well written blog posts based on hate, bigotry, lies and false information that likely someone with good intentions sold her into believing until nobody cares about something called rent control apartments that they “used” to have in San Francisco before all the “working” people lived in tents on the sidewalks shooting meth to make it through the day. Wonder if Sana will regret wasting her talents on this divisive counter productive propaganda when she moves into her tent because one thing is for sure no one is going to pay her $300,000 for this sort of crap.

    • Foginacan

      Say what?

      “Demonizing landlords lowers the supply and the lower the supply the higher the demand, the higher the demand the higher the price – It’s not that complicated folks.”

      How is a Real Estate Broker saying this?

      Was that the basis for pricing you used when you listed a 10 bedroom on Guerrero for $13,000, and a 4 bedroom on 8th Avenue in the Richmond for $8,000?

      If so, your clients should reconsider who they’re working with.

      • 4th Gen SF

        If the market can bear that, that’s the way it goes, shouldn’t it? I am serious. 4 bdrm in Richmond for $8k does not sound unreasonable, that’s $2k per bedroom, standared what rooms are going for in SF right now. Mission is a high demand place $13k for 10 bedrooms is $1,300 per room. That’s also a great price.

        • Foginacan

          He’s not pricing these based on supply and demand, he’s basing them on the properties themselves, their condition, their location, etc. When was the last time a 10 bedroom on Guerrero was cheap?

          His clients have a blue chip stock, he didn’t rope them into a listing agreement based on a price he promised them, tied to the current supply. It doesn’t matter what the supply is. A slow market isn’t going to change this either.

          • 4th Gen SF

            If people aren’t going to pay it, they won’t pay it. But you’re worried that people are paying it?

          • Foginacan

            I don’t see how that’s a reply to anything I said.

      • Don Sebastopol

        The basis is a willing renter. But there is a limit to what people are able and willing to pay.

        • 4th Gen SF

          True & if they can’t, for instance, Dot Drop, & Housing Bust, prices drop.

      • Bill Harkins

        Supply and demand is the basis of the price of everything including home rentals in San Francisco. Your comment only proves my point that a serious lack of economic understanding is the root of the divisiveness everyone in SF would benefit from ending. If I did not understand this my business would not have any clients…City college is free, please sign up for an economics course.

        • Foginacan

          You’re a hack, and a charlatan, Bill Harkins.

          If supply and emend were the basis of the price of everything, you wouldn’t make a damn dime, because brokers like you are a dime a dozen. You never knew a San Francisco without a tech boom. The next bad market will send you packing back to Florida.

          • Bill Harkins

            I have been renting apartments in SF since 1978 making your statement laughable. How about the next time you spread your hate, bigotry, slander and ignorance attacking someone do it without hiding behind a online profile and use your real name and picture? FYI it’s spelled “demand” so please do the world a favor and tote your lovely self down to city college and sign up for a free English, economics and manners class.

          • Foginacan

            Look numbnuts, it’s a bad idea to blatantly lie about your own resume online.

            I feel bad for your clients.

          • Bill Harkins

            Be a man (or a women) and tell everyone you attack, hate and make victims of your bigotry and ignorance with your childish posts who you are.

  • 4th Gen SF

    TY for the update & more of the story. This story seems to have more of the facts. I do think Owens should have waited for her to go.

    • Rosh HoshHosh

      I think Owens should have let her stay too (he may very well feel the same). All this bickering in the comments seems petty now that she has passed. 74 comments posted — not one that was intended to honor Iris.

      Lower Haight has lost a direct tie to it’s place in history. May Iris rest in peace.

  • Tyro

    Unfortunately, the legal system provides incentives for Canada’s lawyers to engage in a high stakes game of chicken, goaded on by Merriouns. The bet was continuously that no matter what, Owens wouldn’t follow through on the eviction, figuring that he would sell out to Merriouns to save face. Any heritability rights when it comes to tenant protections end up providing a massive incentive for relatives to raise the legal stakes, since the potential gains are so large.

    As the housing market becomes tighter and tighter in the lack of available new units, this problem will only get worse.

  • Foginacan

    ” I re-assured you we’d figure out how you could stay in your home. I made good on that promise”

    Are you sure about that, Owens?

    • curiousKulak

      You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.